The former manager of a kitchen manufacturing company has been ordered to pay £17,000 in compensation to a worker who lost three fingers in a sawing accident. Mr. Gibson was sentenced to 26 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months for health and safety breaches when he appeared before Sheffield magistrates court. He was also ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) explained that the worker who became injured was using a table saw to cut down large sheets of chipboard at a workshop in Manvers, Rotherham at the time. Three fingers on his right hand were severed by the saw blade.
After the accident he was taken to hospital by his manager Mr. Gibson. Two of his fingers were reattached but the third was never found, the court heard.
An HSE investigation found that the worker was pushing the chipboard sheets through the saw by hand without using the appropriate pushstick which would have kept his hand away from the moving blade. At the time of the accident there was no guard fixed to the machine. The investigation also found that the company had no compulsory Employers Liability insurance in place. Gibson admitted breaching several health and safety laws.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Jane Fox said “This incident could so easily have been avoided by implementing suitable control measures and safe working practices. Dangerous parts of machinery should be appropriately guarded as required by legislation, in order to protect employees.”